Manuals…

Today we put together the mini greenhouse! I’ll start with the happy picture so you’ll know we survived the assembly, before I dive into how it got put together.

The mini greenhouse of a model called Gaia.

The website where we first found this little greenhouse boasts that it is easy to assemble. Coming from the land that gave the world IKEA I kind of had my doubts. But hey – it looked nice!
So we spent 129 euros on it.
I mean, we have all bought those items that need to be assembled, and almost perished of frustration over the insanely incoherent manual.
This one was at least not run through Google translate, so the actual written instructions were short, but somewhat understandable. However, it gave exactly ZERO clues to what tools you need for putting it together. And of course – no tools included. But we could work around that.


It was the drawings that got me. They were also ok:ish – until you came to the last step and needed to assemble the last bits – those hatches that you lift up to air the little greenhouse. They do have quite a few parts. And this is what you have to guide you.

But lets rewind a bit to yesterday evening. I started putting the greenhouse together while the husband planted a blueberry bush we had bought.
This greenhouse requires nimble fingers from whomever puts it together. Preferably, so nimble that they bend in slightly unrealistic angles. Or be unnaturally thin. I managed to put a few pieces together – then the frustration and the mosquitos got to me and I ended up leaving it all (well, ok, possibly spreading the parts over the garden, porch and our house) for the next day.

Today we made a joint effort. With 2 people it will go fast – we thought.
We got the main frame assembled, put in the glass, attached it to the boxes it stands on – and then we planted the veggies before getting started on the roof.

Of course – we hadn’t noticed that you had to prepare the remaining bolt holes in this step with loosely screwed in bolts that the metal lists that cover the upper edge of the glass will slide over.
Out with all the glass again and in went bolts. And the glass went back in again.
The lists were put in place with only one complete meltdown when it turned out that one of the bolts was faulty and couldn’t be properly tightened – and one piece of glass had to go out a second time and the bolt be replaced. The roof ridge went on and we were close to done – it seemed.
But now we’re back to that manual drawing above.
The basic frame went fast, but then when you look at the smaller detains down in the right corner of that drawing… I mean‚ WTF is going on there?!
And that small drawing to the left right below the main part of the drawing, that supposedly shows how you slide the window into the roof ridge – not really crystal clear.

The upper part of those windows was put on, taken off, put back on, thingies numbered 5012 got bent – and unbent… It took us about 40 minutes to get the first window put together and put in place. And then none of us are particularly stupid…
When window 2 was about to be slid into the roof ridge it got stuck.
Me: Don’t push it! You’ll bend it!
Husband: But it was your job to guide it!
Me: Don’t bend it!
Husband: It’s stuck!!!
Me: DON’T BEND IT!!!
Husband: What the fuck do we do now?
Me: You have to stand here the rest of the summer and hold that window.

4 hours. It took 2 people 4 hours to get it assembled. That is 8 hours.
I work as a consultant. I know how expensive time is. It might have cost 129 euros – but the assembly was near priceless.
Anyway – we have a mini greenhouse. And it looks awesome!

We also assembled that portal trellis thingy and planted 2 plants of hops. That went A LOT faster than putting together the greenhouse.
Our garden will rock this year!

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